After mind-boggling UFC 204 finish, Iuri Alcantara eyes top-15 spot: ‘Where I shouldn’t have left’

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MANCHESTER, England – For a bout that lasted less than two minutes, Iuri Alcantara certainly managed to show off a wide-ranging offensive arsenal.

Throughout a fast-paced, eye-popping sequence, Alcantara (34-7 MMA, 8-4 UFC) followed up a perfectly placed spinning back elbow with strikes and seamless transitions on the ground to finally finish Brad Pickett (25-12 MMA, 5-7 UFC) with an arm triangle (via Twitter).

Backstage, the Brazilian bantamweight spoke quite matter-of-factly about the kooky finish (later awarded a “Performance of the Night” bonus). The logic was pretty simple: Alcantara wanted a win. He wanted it to be fast. He trained and studied for that.

So he went out there and got it.

“I trained really hard for this,” Alcantara said. “I trained to finish the fight quickly. I want to fight a lot this year still, so my focus was to come here, do a good job, and finish fast.

“I knew I had a tough opponent in front of me. But I studied him a lot, I knew the holes in his game, I knew that the spinning back (elbow) would land. Thankfully it worked and I was able to finish the fight on the ground.”

The bantamweight bout closed out the preliminary card of Saturday’s UFC 204 event at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. It aired on FS1 following additional prelims on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of the main card on pay-per-view.

Alcantara, who’d already dismissed the weight of fighting a home product in hostile territory, didn’t really mind having the crowd against him. In fact, quite pleased with the local energy, he believes he may have just swayed them his way.

“I feel pure happiness,” Alcantara said. “I really enjoyed the crowd’s excitement. Today, they were all against me, but thankfully I was able to do a good job and get them on my side.”

With the win, Alcantara snaps back from a “Fight of the Night” decision loss to Jimmie Rivera in January. He now stands at a 2-2 in his past four octagon outings, following a previous three-fight winning streak.

Now, on the heels of two consecutive bonuses, Alcantara will not ask for specific opponents, but details his hopes for a quick turnaround and a spot in the 135-pound rankings.

“I hope the UFC gives me a top-15 opponent so I can go back to my place, where I shouldn’t have left,” Alcantara said. “So that’s the goal, I’m training very hard to get back to the top-15.”

For Alcantara’s thoughts on the finish and his octagon aspirations, check out the vide above.

And for complete coverage UFC 204, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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